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Home > News > India News > Article > Exclusive Lok Sabha elections 2024 Will win because people are voting for development and Modi ji says Kripashankar Singh

Exclusive | Lok Sabha elections 2024: Will win because people are voting for development and Modi-ji, says Kripashankar Singh

Updated on: 16 May,2024 07:23 AM IST  |  Jaunpur
Faizan Khan | faizan.khan@mid-day.com

BJP’s candidate and former Gandhi loyalist Kripashankar claims PM is taking country to new heights

Exclusive | Lok Sabha elections 2024: Will win because people are voting for development and Modi-ji, says Kripashankar Singh

BJP candidate Kripashankar Singh during the inauguration of his new office in Jaunpur. PIC/Faizan Khan

Kripashankar Singh, once a prominent North Indian face of the Congress in Mumbai, is contesting the general election on a BJP ticket from his hometown Jaunpur, a crucial Lok Sabha seat. Gangster Dhananjay Singh’s wife, Srikala Reddy, was originally being fielded as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate for Jaunpur.


However, the party later withdrew her nomination and gave the ticket to incumbent MP Shyam Singh Yadav, who won the seat in 2019 when the BSP and Samajwadi Party (SP) were allies. This time, the SP has nominated Babu Singh Kushwaha. The seat remains challenging for the BJP, which is banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and the Ram Mandir. However, with Srikala’s exit—considering her husband’s significant political influence in Jaunpur—the BJP now has a slight edge in this crucial race.


The Jaunpur seat frequently changes hands between parties, reflecting the high political awareness and discerning voting patterns of its residents. The seat was held by Congress from 1952 to 1962, with the Bharatiya Jana Sangh winning in 1962. In 1963, it returned to Congress and remained with them until 1971. Since then, voters favoured various parties, including the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Janata Party, BJP, SP and BSP.


In an interview with mid-day in Jaunpur, Singh said that no other candidate was in the race, as people were voting for Modi and his leadership, which, he claimed, was taking India to new heights of development

Excerpts

Why did you leave Mumbai, your karmabhoomi, to contest elections in your hometown on a BJP ticket? Won’t it be challenging as most of your cadre is based in Mumbai?
I was 21 when I left Jaunpur to live in a small house in Mumbai, where I worked hard and received so much in return. However, my connection to my birthplace is special, and I visited Jaunpur every month, just as one would return home when done with work. The people here love me and take pride in my accomplishments in Mumbai. In Mumbai, you’ll find that every sixth person from Uttar Pradesh has roots in Jaunpur. Today, our Prime Minister is doing a lot of good work, and the party wanted me to contest the elections from Jaunpur. I am here as a party worker, confident that we will win because people are voting for development and for Modi-ji, and we are his karyakartas.
 
The voting patterns and issues of Mumbai and Jaunpur are very different. What do you think are the key issues driving votes here?
The people here are very pleased with the work being done by the state government under Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The mindset of the voters here mirrors that of other states’ residents—they want to give Modi-ji a third term to elevate development efforts to new heights. As the Prime Minister has stated, his third term will involve making significant decisions, and when he appeals to the people, they follow his lead. He is the only leader with such a broad mass appeal.
 
Why did you quit the Congress despite the party giving you so much? You have been the party’s Mumbai president, a minister in the Maharashtra cabinet and someone close to the Gandhi family.
I have always been clear that I left the party over core issues like Article 370 and the Ram Mandir. I wrote multiple letters to Sonia Gandhi regarding the party’s stance on Article 370, but the party didn’t listen. Additionally, the party refused the invitation to attend the Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha. How can such decisions be made? I have visited Ayodhya multiple times, and my wife used to feel so bad seeing our Lord Ram in such a condition. Today, you see a huge temple being built and the sentiment of the people, with lakhs visiting Ayodhya daily. I never had complaints with the leadership; I left the party purely for ideological reasons.
 
What are the issues in Jaunpur? Is there any kind of anti-incumbency against the BJP government or caste-based factors at play?
Yes, there is anti-incumbency sentiment, but it’s directed against the current Member of Parliament from the Bahujan Samaj Party. If you ask anyone in Ayodhya whether they’ve seen their MP in the last five years, you’ll get your answer. People are fed up with him and want to vote for Modi to ensure their development work continues uninterrupted. The state and Central governments have done a lot of work in UP—you can see it in the roads and highways, the distribution of rations, and the improved law and order. People are very happy, so there is a pro-incumbency sentiment in favour of the BJP, and I am confident of winning with a huge margin.
 
Do you think that the re-nomination of the current MP will make your journey easier?
This is their internal matter, and I don’t want to comment on it. What I know is that I am winning Jaunpur by a huge margin, and people are going to vote for PM Modi.
 
What promise do you want to make to the people of Jaunpur?
I want to transform Jaunpur into an industrial corridor, leveraging the existing infrastructure. Bringing in a lot of industries to Jaunpur will be my priority.

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